Hello readers, I trust you are in perfect health? Well, I had to appear on my blog earlier than I expected because I feel the clamant need to brainwash you on this sensitive topic; Sexual dysfunction. As always, I will like to start with a story from the archives.
During ward rounds one fateful morning, I examined a young man in his early thirties, lying in the centre of the ward. My eyes could not help but notice the transverse hyperpigmented scars dancing across the mid portion of his neck. His tar stained nails and darkened lips gave his cigarette- biting life away. The droopy eye lids encircling his darkened eye; encroached dilated pupils. Eyes filled with anxiety, hands filled with tremors, and sadly, a belly filled with decades of alcohol.
You be the detective, I become the judge. His six year history of a persistent low mood started shortly after his first girlfriend left him. In his defense, he resorted to alcohol and cigarettes as the escape route to all his pain and anguish.
Progressing from a bottle a day to 5 bottles per session. Infecting his pain ridden lungs with life full of smoke and ultimately digressing from the life of a king to a slave of unemployment. He resorted to a life of wallow and self pity, unleashing his misery on girls of different races and colors. However, this was a feckless attempt to satisfy his insatiable thirst for the fountain of happiness and mountain of euphoria.
Depression sets in, and significantly reduces his drive for different women. He is thus unable to push his engine to the finish line, as it stutters head down reaching its target. He resorts to different herbal concoctions, both oral and topical. Topical here, has to fling on the surface on your brain for a few seconds before sinking.
This leads him to develop a sense of guilt as he presents to the hospital after attempting suicide. A check of his liver function test drove the dagger through his heart by filling the scotomas of his eyes with three numbered digits. You are the doctor on duty. What do you do?
Sexual dysfunction is characterized by significant problems in the sexual response cycle. This is the point I draw the curtain, and invite only the 18 year olds and above, to relax in their seats as I fill their glasses with a cocktail of knowledge.
Allow me to ask, why sexual intercourse? For the purposes of pleasure and for creating babies? Or for a far greater function than these? It is stated that, a vast majority of sexual acts are for pleasure, as opposed to procreation. The antics displayed both in the comfort and discomfort of your beds, are ultimately with the aim of achieving a sole purpose. Satisfying the normal sexual response!
The sexual response cycle consists of four stages; however boundaries within these stages are not clear cut. These stages shall be explained in synopses of a few words. Get your imaginary deck ready as I slide in the cassette of the normal sexual cycle.
- Excitement: As a nice guy, you spot a fair colored lady across the span of the restaurant you are taking a breeze at. Feelings skyrocket! Flings plummet! A snack for a night won’t be bad you think. Your mind is fed with erotic images dished with a silver spoon; quite hard for you to ignore. You then make your move, managing to get her in slide back in the comfort of your car. The excitement phase begins. The tension in your muscles commence, your heart rate and blood pressure rises. Sex flushes dance across with a wand in their hands and the penis waves back with glee in his heart. Before this excitement phase, it is stated you must have first experienced sexual attraction, which would draw sexual desire upfront raising the spear for the first stage of the cycle to launch.
- Plateau: Bodily changes that began in the excitement phase become more intense, leveling off as you reach the pinnacle of arousal. Your mind makes notes of these changes and then effects them with a red pen in hand.
- The woman’s vagina continues to swell from increased blood flow, and its’ walls turn a dark purple.
- Her clitoris becomes highly sensitive and retracts under the clitoral hood to avoid direct stimulation from the male sex organ.
- The man’s testicles are withdrawn up into the scrotum.
- Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure continue to increase.
- Muscle spasms begin in the feet, face, and hands, as its tension continues to rise.
- Orgasm: This arousal triggers involuntary contractions of the lower pelvic muscles with the resultant action of ejaculation in men, including vocalizations and muscular spasms in other areas of the body. Markers of a generally euphoric sensation! In women, responses range from extended or multiple orgasms to the resolution stage.
- Resolution: Following orgasm is a period of relaxation; the tiring muscles then relax as your body fuel gets to the base. Your blood pressure drops as your body screeches slowly from its excited state. For men, this period is often referred to as a refractory period, during which it is impossible to have an additional orgasm. It is argued that, men are supposed to complete this period before they can become aroused again. Women on the other hand, rarely have such limitations and can often return to the excitement phase with effective sexual stimulation.
Mission accomplished! You either send the lady back home, back to the restaurant or request for the services of an Uber driver.
Knowing how your body responds during each phase of the cycle can enhance your relationship and help you pinpoint the cause of any sexual problems.
Sexual problems can occur when individuals experience a diminished, or lack of sexual desire associated with difficulties related to sexual arousal or performance.
Disorders of sexual dysfunction are said to be divided into four categories which can arise in any person irrespective of his/her sexual orientation.
- Sexual desire disorders – There is persistently a deficient desire for sexual activity, or a lack of sexual fantasies. This category includes sexual aversion disorders, whose hallmark is an extreme antipathy to, and avoidance of most genital sexual contact with a partner. People with this disorder may have normal desire, interest and sexual fantasies and may masturbate. However even the idea of contact with a partner’s genitals makes them anxious, during which they may panic.
- Sexual arousal disorders – Notably, a persistent and recurrent difficulty inability to attain, or maintain an adequate erection until sexual activity is completed in males, or adequate lubrication or swelling during sexual excitement in females.
- Orgasmic disorders – Inarguably, a persistent or recurrent delay in, or absence of, orgasm following a normal sexual excitement phase. Premature ejaculation defined as ejaculation with minimal sexual stimulation before, on, or shortly after penetration and before the person wishes it; falls in this category.
- Sexual pain disorders – Defined as recurrent or persistent genital pain associated with sexual intercourse in either a male or a female. Vaginismus, a rare condition occurs when there are involuntary muscle spasms which disable vaginal penetration, often as a result of pain with attempts at sex.
It is also important to bear in mind that, increased sexual drive may occur, presenting as a problem for individuals and partners because ‘unreasonable’ demands are made. This is referred to as nymphomania in women or satyriasis in men.
With a tolerable knowledge of this, it is paramount you pay a visit to a physician for a complete evaluation of your symptoms instead of gulping down countless daily doses of tablets and herbs of unknown dose and content. A mental health professional will delve into the neurological, psychological and social factors causing your dysfunction after successfully ruling out biological causes such as diabetes and prostate cancer which can cause sexual dysfunction.
Treatments such as sex therapy, which provide specific guidance and techniques to treat sexual problems and psychological therapies such as psychodynamic treatment which address feelings and thoughts about you and others, and how they relate to sexual problems, have been indicated to help.
Like successful treatment for any psychological disorder, fruitful treatment of sexual dysfunctions ultimately takes into consideration, all the neuropsychosocial factors impacting the sexual life of the individual, providing help in the dire times of need.
Thanks for reading and happy weekend!